Sunday, May 29, 2011

Looking for the Lost / Hunting Changelings and Fetches

One of the things I've been thinking about recently is how to use a Changelings pre-abduction family and friends in a Changeling: the Lost chronicle.
I suspect that there's a temptation to just play these folks as the innocent dupes of the Fetch, totally unaware of any sinister goings on, and completely shocked and surprised if the 'truth' comes out.
In fact, I imagine they are used as a tool for confrontation, in that they can serve as a dramatic device when supporting the Fetch and rejecting the Changeling.

The thing is, though, that folklore rarely tells its tale from the Changelings perspective, and instead favours the mortal who sees through the glamour and identifies the replacement for what it is - an alien imposter.
The core rules give several examples of this in the flavour text, and then neglects to go into further detail in the Antagonists/Storytelling sections.

I'm thinking that there's a great wealth of drama and story to be had from the friends and family that notice that this person close to them has changed somehow.
I can see a classic psychological horror playing out as they investigate the Fetch, testing its memories and personality, discovering its flaws; maybe it doesn't have a birthmark, or an allergy, or suddenly likes sea food, or has different finger prints. Maybe it understands advanced mathematics, or doesn't know how to speak French anymore.
What do these people do? Nobody believes them. How do they prove that this person is an impostor? Who do they think the Fetch really is? Do they have any theories as to why? Most people won't think of the Fae, and could instead think of any number of conspiracies, including:
Foreign nations
Super science clones
Aliens
Secret societies
If played correctly, the list is near endless, with Arcadia quite near the bottom.

So, what do you do, when you suspect this person you know nd care deeply about has been replaced or changed?
Do you confront them directly? What if they don't even know they're not real?

And then, what if a confrontation leads to violence, and the Fetch is killed, possibly exploding in a shower of twigs and newspaper, or reverting to a wire frame and rag construct in the morgue or during the open casket view?
How do you reconcile that?

I kind of see this as a perfect one shot Mortals game, or the lead in to a Hunter: the Vigil game.
I imagine a number of Hunters would investigate a Fetch, and give the mad assertions of individual friends and family credence.

One last thing. A question. What if the Changeling is just a by-product of the process? What if the Fetch is the goal, a sleeper agent with an implanted agenda even it is unaware of?
Maybe the Fetch is a breeder, or an agent tasked with opening more doors.

If you look closely, you can see the Hedge on the other side of this door...